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The Governor's speech at the official Opening of the New Annexe at the Parliament of Victoria.


The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria
The Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of the Legislative Council
The Hon Colin Brooks MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
The Hon Matthew Guy MP, Leader of the Opposition
The Hon Peter Walsh MP, Leader of the Nationals
Dr Samantha Ratnam MLC, Leader of the Victorian Greens
Members of the Legislative Council
Members of the Legislative Assembly
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Standing here, on this historic occasion, I reflect on three things.

The first is about what has occurred on this very spot for many thousands of years before today.

In reflecting on that, I acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respect to Elders past and present, and also to Elders who stand here with us.

And I acknowledge the sophisticated system of meetings and governance – conducted here and nearby – amidst the gums and the wattles, across many millennia.

My second reflection is one that also touches on the topic of custodianship.

Many of us participating in this ceremony today represent a particular role or office in our parliamentary system.

But we are just that. Representatives. We do not own our roles. We are just the temporary custodians of them.

We shall be, individually, just footnotes in the history of our State’s democracy.

But the roles that we fill are so very much more than that.

They are the bedrock of that democracy. They underpin  Victoria’s modern history, from well before our time, as well as into the future, as the foundation of stable governance in our State.

In this regard, I have no doubt that all of us gathered here are of like mind today. That we are as one in celebrating the robustness and safety of our democratic processes.

We join here, above and beyond party politics. And we are together in contemplating how the new annexe will be used in the service of all Victorians.

And so, that brings me to reflect, finally, on this new addition to our buildings of Parliament: buildings that have evolved across the last 163 years.

Each addition or alteration has fitted the particular day, and the particular needs of that day.

This new annexe is no exception.

All those involved can be proud of having achieved an attractive, contemporary design, but one that is, at the same time, complimentary to the heritage precinct.

The building nestles into its surroundings, integrating with the beautiful and historic gardens of Parliament.

Its smart design, its reverence to the green spaces of our city, and its 5 Star Green Star rating, ensure that the annexe aligns with and promotes Victoria’s renown for urban design and planning.

It is however what happens inside these new facilities that matters most.

Public buildings become historic not just for their age or their beauty, but for the achievements and the moments that they house and witness.

This building is, as yet, empty of history. It adjoins buildings and chambers of great historical significance, but it is just a blank page.

But now, full of people – bustling and busy – it will hear large and small conversations within its walls. It will stand witness to life-changing decisions.

And the impact of those conversations and decisions will be felt where it matters the most dearly: in the homes and the workplaces right around our State.

So, as the occupants now of this annexe – its temporary custodians, if you will – I wish you all the best as you continue to make history in our present day.

And as you continue to promote the ‘peace and prosperity’ of Victoria.

That leaves me only to say that I now have the pleasure to declare the new annexe at the Parliament of Victoria  officially open.

The Governor's speech at the official Opening of the New Annexe at the Parliament of Victoria.